GUEST POST ~ Drama Daddy by Joe Cosentino #GuestPost #Excerpt

✨ Guest Post ✨

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a total musical theatre geek. I’ve seen every Broadway musical, and I have the signed posters, Playbills, and cast recordings to prove it. What could be better than spending time in a fantasy world full of beautiful people singing and dancing, colorful sets, elaborate costumes, awe-inspiring projections, and the boys in the band underscoring it all. So it wasn’t a surprise to anyone who knows me when I set some of the sixteen novels so far in my popular Nicky and Noah mysteries series in the world of musical theatre. Professor of Play Directing sexy Nicky Abbondanza, a.k.a. the gay Sherlock Holmes, and Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver, a.k.a. his gorgeous amore John Watson, staged many musical theatre productions at their Treemeadow College in Vermont and in themes parks located in Key West and San Francisco. In Drama Detective, Nicky and Noah created a Sherlock Holmes musical entitled, Is Sherlock Holmes a Homo? In Drama Faerie, Treemeadow’s theatre troupe presented a musical production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream entitled, You Need a Fairy for Love in the End. A musical version of Dickins’s A Christmas Carol, Call Me Carol, was featured in Drama Christmas. Nicky and Noah unleashed an original musical extravaganza of Peter Panentitled, Every Fairy Needs a Big Hook,in Drama Pan. They presented an original musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, entitled Friends of Dorothy, in Drama Oz. Drama Prince brought a musical version of Cinderella entitled, Let’s Ball. In Drama Merry, Nicky, Noah, and their thespian cohorts presented their musical version of Robin Hood entitled, Why the Merry Men Are So Merry.

So when after sixteen Nicky and Noah mystery novels, Nicky and Noah fans asked me write a Nicky and Noah mystery novelette, I knew it had to include a musical theatre production. But which one? I thought, what is it that most people want nowadays? A feeling of independence. My mind exploded like fireworks—Independence Day! I decided Nicky, Noah, and their theatrical troupe at Treemeadow College would stage an original musical production of the founding of our nation entitled, I Do Declare.

In my version of the story, it’s summer stock time at Treemeadow College. Nicky directs the show and takes on the leading role (What else did you expect?) of John Adams. His hubby Noah is cast as Adam’s love interest, Thomas Jefferson. Nicky and Noah’s best friend and department chair, Martin Anderson, grabs (among other things) the plumb role of Adams’s beard Abigail. Electricity sparks fly as Martin’s long-suffering husband, Ruben Markinson, plays a frisky Benjamin Franklin. Nicky and Noah’s son, Taavi, and Martin and Ruben’s son, Ty, threaten to call Child Protective Services until Nicky casts them as the Couriers. Nicky’s nemesis, the oblivious Detective Manuello, worms his way into the cast as King George III with a roving eye for muscular male servants. Nicky’s dog, Asterisk, shows his molars until he secures the treat role of the king’s dog Georgie. New to the cast are hunky Sami Zaman, Graduate Assistant of Music, Musical Director, and Edward Rutledge, who has a yen for handsome Haku Yamato, Assistant Professor of Dance, Choreographer, and John Dick-in-son. Hot Theatre majors, Hector Alvarez and Philippe Laurent, play the father of our country George Washington and his French kiss lover Guy Raffleur III, giving new meaning to the term, “Daddy Dearest.” When the actor playing John Hand-cock finds snarky Professor of Music Hank Tobias (Caesar Rodney) murdered in the theatre wing, Nicky and Noah take flight to solve the case—before the murderer clips their wings.

For those of you who haven’t yet ventured to the land of Nicky and Noah (and you should!), it’s a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning (as Nicky would say) faster than a corrupt past Republican president trying to stay out of jail. At the center is the touching relationship between Professor of Play Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Associate Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. We watch them go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head over heels in love with each other (as we fall in love with them). Reviewers called the series “hysterically funny farce,” “Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys,” and “captivating whodunits.” One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read! Another said I’m “a master storyteller.” Who am I to argue?

The premiere novel, Drama Queen, was voted Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Novel of the Year! The subsequent novels won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions and Favorite Book of the Month awards: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, and Drama Merry

As a past professional actor and current college theatre professor/department chair, I know first-hand the hysterically funny antics, sweet romance, and captivating mystery in the worlds of theatre and academia. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are full of them! I know you’ll laugh, cry, feel romantic, and love delving into this crackling compact mystery with more plot twists and turns than, as Nicky would say, a Scientologist closet gay movie star dodging the press.

I’m more excited, as Nicky would say, than a teacher at the end of June to share this novelette with you. So take your seats for the fireworks. Not only Ben Franklin’s kite will rise as the men in the Continental Congress find romance, rollicking fun, and rousing murder!

And drop me a line. I’ll share it with Nicky and Noah!


(a Nicky and Noah mystery novelette)
Nicky and Noah mystery 17 by JOE COSENTINO

Formats: E-book and Paperback
Length: 92 pages
Language: English
Heat Level: 1
Cover Art: Jesús Da Silva
Release Date: July 1, 2023
Genre: MM, contemporary, mystery, comedy, romance, theatre, musical theater, college, 1776, July 4, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Independence Day


Summer stock, romance, and murder blossom at Treemeadow College on July 4th when theatre professors and husbands Nicky and Noah and their thespian cohorts stage an original gay musical adaptation heralding the signing of the Declaration of Independence entitled, I Do Declare. Nicky and Noah need to use their drama skills to catch the killer before the frills on their collars are tied in a knot—around their throats. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining first-time novelette (mystery #17) in this delightful series. Take your seats. It’s Independence Day! The curtain and fireworks are going up on an enamored John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who raise Ben Franklin’s kite, Daddy John Dick-in-son, John Hand-cock, George Washington and his French squeeze Guy Raffleur, and murder!

Praise for the Nicky and Noah Mysteries

“Joe Cosentino has a unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his plot-lines will have you guessing until the very last page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.” Divine Magazine

“a combination of Laurel and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote… Loaded with puns and one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still has a surprise in store for you…the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure, full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm Book Reviews

“adventure, mystery, and romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews

“For fans of Joe Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

“Every entry of the Nicky and Noah mystery series is rife with intrigue, calamity, and hilarity…Cosentino keeps us guessing – and laughing – until the end, as well as leaving us breathlessly anticipating the next Nicky and Noah thriller.” Edge Media Network

“A laugh and a murder, done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals Many Reviewers

“These two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books

“Superb fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“The Nicky and Noah Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah, theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance

“This is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words


Drama Daddy, a Nicky and Noah novelette, by Joe Cosentino
During a recess of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia stand under the attendance board for the thirteen states. The oldest of the trio, Benjamin Franklin, adjusts his spectacles and recalls how his kite and key led to the discovery of electricity. Then glancing over at manly Adams and handsome Jefferson, Franklin puts an arm around both men while crooning the up-tempo, “You Electrify Me.” After the three men execute a swivel hip jazz dance, Abigail Adams enters, bemoaning her fate in the torch song, “Gay Husband, Sad Life.” The song turns into a lively bump and grind number. As Abigail begins to exit in excited anticipation of a Sappho visit to Martha Jefferson, the remaining members of Congress enter hurrying toward the colonial desks and chairs. Abigail bumps into Rutledge who knocks into Dickinson as the members of Congress hit the deck like falling dominos. Abigail’s wig, hip pads, and falsies fly across the stage.

“Stop!” It’s me Nicky Abbondanza, PhD, which in my case stands for Piping Hot Daddy. All the world’s a stage to me—with me in the spotlight. I’m Professor of Play Directing in picturesque and cozy Treemeadow College in picturesque and cozy Vermont. Treemeadow was named after its gay founders, Tree and Meadow, whose bronze statues line the campus entrance. They are put to great use when pigeons or partying students need to relieve themselves. In case you haven’t read my novels, here’s a little lesson for you Nicky and Noah virgins. I’m tall with dark hair (thanks to hair dye for men), a muscular body (curtesy of the torture chamber known as the gym on campus), emerald eyes (from contact lenses), and a Roman nose (from my Italian-American family back in Kansas). Yes, I truly am a friend of Dorothy’s. Before we go any further, I need to tell you one small thing about myself. Actually, it’s not so small. To the admiration of the other men at the gym, horror of my costumers, and delight of my husband, I have a foot long penis. I mostly keep this tidbit tucked away, however, I’ll admit I’ve used it to my advantage in a couple of my past cases. You see, in addition to directing plays (Drama Queen), musicals (Drama Detective, Drama Faerie, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan), a bodybuilding competition (Drama Muscle), a murder mystery dinner theatre cruise show (Drama Cruise), a Hawaiian luau show (Drama Luau), a ballet (Drama Dance), two movies (Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle), a runway fashion show (Drama Runway), a television pilot (Drama TV), and two theme park shows (Drama Oz, Drama Prince), I’m an armchair—or in my case director’s chair—amateur sleuth. I’m not a professional detective, because unlike our local Detective Jose Manuello, I actually solve my cases. My husband, love of my life, and joy of my heart, Noah Oliver, Associate Professor of Acting (age 41), and I (age 48-grr) met here at Treemeadow College after he was a suspect in my first case. When Noah was found innocent (but not too innocent), we dated, were engaged, married on a cruise ship in Alaska, and during our honeymoon in Maui adopted a little boy (now not so little at age 19), Taavi Kapule Oliver Abbondanza. Noah became the Watson and Taavi the Baker Street Irregular (or Backstreet Boy) to my Sherlock Homo. My husband is absolutely gorgeous with blond hair, azure eyes, a creamy complexion, tall tight body, and a bubble butt like a gymnast executing a floor routine at the Gay Games. When we aren’t in a costume (onstage or off—more on that later), Noah, Taavi, and I wear dress shirts, dress slacks, and blazers. It’s a cool family thing. And our family keeps growing. After one of our cases, we adopted Asterisk, a gray and white bearded collie (age 4). Taavi’s wife Sloane, their baby Nicky Jr., and Asterisk’s husband Tag (a Yorkshire terrier), were later additions to our family, but are currently away visiting Sloane’s aunt in Philadelphia.

Which brings me to why I am wearing a ruffled white shirt, tight violet breeches, and a long waistcoat. When the college president heard Noah and I were staging summer stock shows outside of Treemeadow, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse—if we wanted to keep our jobs and more importantly keep the honey-colored Victorian home supplied to us by the college. Since the president has a side business selling fireworks, we were ordered to put on a theme-park-like show for the college’s Fourth of July celebration. That led my department head and best friend, Martin Anderson (age ancient), to write an original one-act musical based on the signing of the Declaration of Independence called, I Do Declare, and to cast himself in the plum role of Abigail Adams. Martin cast his husband, Ruben Markinson (age equally ancient), as the aging Benjamin Franklin in addition to producer and props coordinator. When I threatened to steal Martin’s three D’s (dentures, diapers, and dildo), I was cast as John Adams and the play’s director. When my son, Taavi, and Martin and Ruben’s adopted son, Ty Wilde Anderson Markinson (age 18), heard about the show, they threatened to call the battered child’s hotline if they weren’t cast as the Couriers. Knowing that murder follows me like a priest follows a new altar boy learning to genuflect, my nemesis, Detective Jose Manuello (age who cares?), begged me to give him a role in the show. I selected King George III—the tyrant. Speaking of begging, Asterisk ran around in circles, like a member of Congress trying to pass a law, until I cast him as the king’s pet Georgie. The broke and vacationless theatre faculty and students on campus filled the remaining roles and technical positions. Professor of Music Hank Tobias (age born before Christ) was cast as old and infirm Caesar Rodney from Delaware. Hank’s daughter, Maggie (age 40 for the fourth year) agreed to do the costumes. Hank’s graduate assistant, hunky Sami Zaman, pitched in (pun intended) as musical director and Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. Adorable Assistant Professor of Dance Haku Yamato did a double timestep as choreographer and John Dickinson of Pennsylvania. Handsome theatre majors Hector Alvarez and Philippe Laurent took on the roles of George Washington and his French lover Guy Raffleur III, renaming the father of our country: a French Connection. The remaining students took on the additional roles and technical positions—including the boys in the band nestled cozily in the orchestra pit. One last note. Think of this little story as Nicky and Noah lite—in the loafers. For the full Nicky and Noah experience, you need to read the novels!

So here I am center stage at the burgundy Treemeadow College Theatre on the morning of our final technical dress rehearsal. The time when directors take notes—and valium—while putting last minutes changes into the show—and their wills. “Cast, please go over your entrances and exits. Set crew, please repair the set. Maggie, please do damage control on the costumes and set décor.” Lighting crew, please hit me over the head with a lighting instrument and put me out of my misery.

The cast and crew raced around the stage faster than Jehovah’s Witnesses at a new housing development. As I texted more notes to the cast and crew than in a Wagnerian opera score read by someone with double vision, an angel of mercy appeared behind me, wrapped his long arms around my sweaty waist, and kissed my quivering cheek. “The show is going to be fine, Nicky.”

“That’s what the Titanic’s orchestra leader said.” I spun around to face my loving husband.

“We’re always a hit, onstage and off.” Noah kissed one of my long sideburns. “How’s my John Adams?”

“In need of a hug from his Thomas Jefferson.”

After we hugged, I reached under my shirt and pulled out a gold chained locket. Opening it, I read the engraved inscription, “To John Adams, All my love, Thomas Jefferson.”

“Do you like it, Nicky?”

“I love it.” I felt my pulse lower to two hundred. “What did I ever do to deserve you, Noah?”

“A decade ago, you proved I was innocent.”

“And now I’m not so sure.”

Noah giggled. As I closed and replaced the locket, he said, “You look sexy in your John Adams suit.”

“And you’re a fetching Thomas Jefferson in soft powder blue.”

We shared a wet and wonderful kiss. I enjoyed the familiar taste of the man I love, as I ran my fingers through his long golden locks and took in the luscious scent of his strawberry shampoo. “I adore you, Noah Oliver.”

“And I adore you right back, Nicky Abbondanza.”

After sharing another kiss, I came back to reality. “Noah, the show opens tomorrow night for July 4, and we aren’t ready.”

About the Author

Joe Cosentino was voted Favorite MM Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery novel.

He is also the author of…

  • the remaining Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, Drama Runway, Drama Christmas, Drama Pan, Drama TV, Drama Oz, Drama Prince, Drama Merry;
  • the Player Piano Mysteries: The Player and The Player’s Encore;
  • the Jana Lane Mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll;
  • the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Moving Forward, Stepping Out, New Beginnings, Happy Endings;
  • the In My Heart Anthology: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star;
  • the Tales from Fairyland Anthology: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland;
  • the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Anthology: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, The First Noel;
  • and the Found At Last Anthology: Finding Giorgio and Finding Armando.

His books have won numerous Book of the Month awards and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college theatre professor/department chair residing in New York State.

Find Joe Cosentino on the Web

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